Renal Physiology

Water turnover in 458 American adults 40-79 yr of age

Aarthi Raman, Dale A. Schoeller, Amy F. Subar, Richard P. Troiano, Arthur Schatzkin, Tamara Harris, Douglas Bauer, Shiela A. Bingham, James E. Everhart, Anne B. Newman, Frances A. Tylavsky


Despite recent interest in water intake, few data are available on water metabolism in adults. To determine the average and range of usual water intake, urine output, and total body water, we administered 2H oxide to 458 noninstitutionalized 40- to 79-yr-old adults living in temperate climates. Urine was collected in a subset of individuals (n = 280) to measure 24-h urine production using p-aminobenzoic acid to ensure complete collection. Preformed water intake was calculated from isotopic turnover and corrected for metabolic water and insensible water absorption from humidity. Preformed water intake, which is water from beverages and food moisture, averaged 3.0 l/day in men (range: 1.4-7.7 l/day) and 2.5 l/day in women (range: 1.2-4.6 l/day). Preformed water intake was lower in 70- to 79 (2.8 l/day)- than in 40- to 49-yr-old men and was lower in 70- to 79 (2.3 l/day)- than in 40- to 49- and 50- to 59-yr-old women. Urine production averaged 2.2 l/day in men (range: 0.6-4.9 l/day) and 2.2 l/day in women (0.9-6.0 l/day). There were no age-related differences in results in women, but 60- to 69-yr-old men had significantly higher urine output than 40- to 49- and 50- to 59-yr-old men. Only the 70- to 79-yr-old group included sufficient blacks for a racial analysis. Blacks in this age group showed significantly lower preformed water intake than did whites. Whites had significantly higher water turnover rates than blacks as well. Multivariate regression indicated that age, weight, height, and body mass index explained <12% of the gender-specific variance in water input or urine output, yet repeat measures indicated that within-individual coefficient of variation was 8% for preformed water intake (n = 22) and 9% for 24-h urine production (n = 222). These results demonstrate that water turnover is highly variable among individuals and that little of the variance is explained by anthropometric parameters.

  • water intake
  • twenty-four-hour urine
  • preformed water
  • insensible water
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